Over the last decade we have cleaned a lot of windows in the harsh Florida environment. Along the way we have left our customers satisfied and telling their friends to have out to clean. On the front end of working with a new customer, we typically get a lot of questions about our process and what works best for a great result. We put together three tips here that we tell our customers and those looking to do some maintenance on their own.
Off the Shelf Products Don't Always Work
It is easy to walk down the aisle at the grocery store or home improvement store and get confused at all the options available for window cleaning. It can leave your head spinning. What usually happens is you will pick something that you've heard of or a friend has told you. When you get it back home to clean your windows it lets you down. The fragrance is too strong or it leaves streaks on the glass and you start the cycle all over again.
Taking surveys from our customers over the years has yielded some great insight into what really doesn't work off the shelf. One type of product our customers say they dislike is any kind of spray and wash. This is where you hook a bottle of chemical to your hose and spray it on your glass. Their main issue was that the window never came completely clean and it always left some sort of streaks. Bottom line is they didn't get the results they expected.
Our time tested solution is the old fashioned approach to window cleaning - soap and water. Mix dish soap and water 8 parts (water) to 1 part (soap) just until it starts to feel slippery between your fingers. If you put in too much soap you will notice it leaves residue behind. You'll find this out when you start on your first window. If this happens, just add more water. This is the simplest, cheapest and most effective way to window cleaning. In fact, if you hire a window cleaning company that doesn't use this approach on the interior windows, it would serve you well to find out why.
A Safe and Clean Working Area
We thought it best to bring up something that is not as commonly thought through as a homeowner. Safety is something a window cleaning company has to always be thinking about and is definitely something a homeowner should keep at the top of their mind as well. If you don't take care when working it can mean the difference between clean windows and a broken window or worse, a broken back.
Let’s face it, falling off a ladder is not a fun thing. ladder safety is imperative if working up high. Think about where you are putting your feet or where you set the ladder when working over bushes or stairs. Falling face first into a bush is not fun.
Another easy safety step to take when working on window cleaning is making sure you have a clear work space. This takes a little time on the front end and is why most people skip it, but it can save you from tripping over something and hurting yourself. Move all your trinkets away from the window sill and pull your bed or chest of drawers away from the windows as well. The idea is to give yourself enough room to work so you'll have the best outcome.
It Takes Time
The problem most homeowners have when trying to do window cleaning on their own is time. They usually try to rush through it and end up less than satisfied. Here are a couple of ideas to think about before starting your window cleaning project.
Know Your Windows:
You have to first understand how your windows work so you can know best how to clean them. If you have a tilt in window, it’s best to clean them from the outside. Depending on access from the outside, it can be safer and you’ll get the best result. There are many types of windows. Those that lift straight up, fold out and operate by crank, turning in. There are different kinds of tracks on all of these models that will take a little different method of cleaning.
Have a Process:
If you are really going to tackle window cleaning on your own, you need to have a process. Thinking like a professional will help you tremendously here. A professional technician at a window cleaning company cleans different kinds of windows all day long. The way he can move gracefully from one window to the next is by having a process of cleaning. Having a specific way of working from one window to the next and doing it the right way will take less time than doing it the wrong way.
Starting on the outside first is best. Take the screens out and cleaning them so they can dry while you are working on the outside glass and frames. Once finished, put the screens in and then switch to the inside.
If you implement the advice in these three tips you'll have much success when cleaning windows at home. Of course, if all this is just too much to cram in one day, you can hire a window cleaning company who will do it all for you professionally.